in·​fer·​no | \ in-ˈfər-(ˌ)nō How to pronounce inferno (audio) \
plural infernos

Definition of inferno

: a place or a state that resembles or suggests hell the inferno of war also : an intense fire : conflagration a raging inferno

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Examples of inferno in a Sentence

By the time help arrived, the fire had grown to a raging inferno. the intense heat of the raging inferno repeatedly drove back the firefighters

Recent Examples on the Web

But as of Tuesday, nearly two weeks after the start of the inferno, only about 60 people had provided samples to pop-up labs, said Annette Mattern, a spokeswoman for ANDE, a Colorado company that is donating use of the technology. Kathleen Ronayne, The Seattle Times, "Light rain falling in N California could hurt search effort," 21 Nov. 2018 Firefighters struggled against rugged terrain, high winds and an August heat wave Tuesday to slow the spread of the biggest wildfire ever recorded in California, an inferno that exploded to be nearly the size of Los Angeles in just 11 days. Paul Elias, The Seattle Times, "Biggest blaze in California history challenges firefighters," 7 Aug. 2018 The inferno on June 14, 2017, was an astonishingly fast, highly aggressive and unusual event. William Booth And Karla Adam, Washington Post, "Britain’s Grenfell Tower inquiry looks at how a high-rise became ‘a highly combustible death trap’," 9 June 2018 The inferno spelled disaster not only for the Edwards family, which had been curing hams for 90 years, but for the farmers who raised the ancient breeds of pig the family required. Ruth Reichl, Town & Country, "Meet Cesare Casella, the Tuscan Chef Who's Known as the "Prosciutto Whisperer"," 21 Sep. 2018 Two small blazes burning through Northern California have grown at breathtaking speed to form a massive inferno, quickly becoming the largest active wildfire in the state. Kristine Phillips, The Seattle Times, "Wildfires continue to char California, but one fire is in a destructive league of its own," 7 Aug. 2018 And others still are sleeping in their cars or camping in tent cities that have organically emerged in the miasma of the inferno. Umair Irfan, Vox, "The Paradise fire is catastrophic. And the wildfire threat to California is only growing.," 17 Nov. 2018 Trump’s assertion that Russia didn’t meddle in American elections sparked an inferno on the left. Chad Pergram, Fox News, "Dem Civil War: Fury over Trump summit threatens to expose new party divisions," 19 July 2018 But Strzok’s firing, rather than easing tensions, might serve to fuel the partisan inferno surrounding the bureau’s work. Matt Zapotosky, The Seattle Times, "How anti-Trump texts ruined the career of the FBI’s go-to agent," 14 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'inferno.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of inferno

1834, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for inferno

Italian, hell, from Late Latin infernus

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Statistics for inferno

Last Updated

20 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for inferno

The first known use of inferno was in 1834

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English Language Learners Definition of inferno

: a very large and dangerous fire

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More from Merriam-Webster on inferno

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for inferno

Spanish Central: Translation of inferno

Nglish: Translation of inferno for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of inferno for Arabic Speakers

Comments on inferno

What made you want to look up inferno? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to boil down or concentrate

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